E-Commerce Trends in 2015: What should you expect?

- E-Commerce

In this topic we’re going to cover such relevant issues that can come in handy to e-commerce businessmen or just people who are interested in the further e-commerce development. Consequently, let’s figure out what we should expect down the road.

e-commerce trends 2015

Handheld Shopping Malls

Shopping from phones is getting extremely popular in our modern society as with its development people simplify their lives, particularly the process of making purchases. Therefore, a big deal of online stores have recently started to optimize their web-sites for different kinds of mobile and tablet dimensions.

Now, smartphones are playing a significant role in our lives, and we cannot help agreeing that off and on we even exaggerate with the phone usage. And here is a simple example, when everybody is on the bus, people are completely absorbed in their phones or tablets, losing eye contact, as their eyes are glued to the screens. But, actually, somebody can get an advantage out of it.

Give them what they want

When we make a Google search, surf the net or use our social networks, in essence we provide businessmen with all necessary information on what we can be attracted by. Every single search you make is recorded to their data. So, thus, they create target groups and simply present us what we are interested in.  How easy and smart it is, don’t you think so? Consequently, such opportunity has become a significant step in the marketing development.

SHIPPING

Nowadays, such companies as Amazon and Google manage to deliver a product at the same day you have ordered it. In 2015 expect other companies to follow the example, but still it depends on the area you are in and the company you’re willing to buy from. However, taking into account, the development of infrastructure is constantly increasing, the dreams about shipping product within a few hours will be possible soon.

There is only one advantage of buying products in brick-and-mortar stores and it is the immediacy of purchase. However, it’s going to be changed soon, and this kind of stores will pass away.

HUGE OPPORTUNITY

Nowadays, in the United States, the retail sales trough the mobile devices are currently $70 billion worth, however, it’s assumed that by the end of 2018 it will have been tripled (approximately $173 billion).

The surveys say that half of Smartphone users already utilize their devices to find information about a particular store, like its working hours, the place where it is located etc.

Here are some things online retailers need to keep in their minds:

1) Optimizing your web -site for mobile device users  – so that your potential clients could see information appropriately.  Retailers need to invest money in this sphere or they risk to lose the engagement of customers, consequently the revenue will suffer as well.

2) Connecting stores with mobile marketing – sending SMS with different hot offers to induce people to come to your store.

3) Inventory stock availability – a recent survey has showed that 3/4 of shoppers rate  inventory availability as “essential to their buying decision”. So, if you don’t have it, you are likely to lose this race.

In the USA, there are approximately 219.4 million Internet users ages 14 and older, this year eMarketer expects 86% or 196.6 million to do online shopping, and definitely the major part of which will do it using their mobile devices. This is such a great opportunity for all online retailer companies with a good web-site optimized for mobile device users.

e-commerce 2014

Another study of Accenture showed that 72% of respondents made an online purchase, however, they had seen the product in a store before. The largest ecommerce development is reported in India and China. It is assumed that by 2020 India will have made $50-70 billion out of ecommerce, whereas now they make about $13 billion.  Research also shows that more than 60% retailers utilize social networks such as Facebook to promote their products and to start a customer interaction.

2009-2016 steady ecommerce development

– The USA – in 2015 e-retail is projected to grow significantly, reaching $14 billion.

– Brazil’s online retail market is going to be increased as well. For example comparing to previous years, the general ecommerce worth was about $7.9 billon, and by the end of 2016 it will have reached $22 billion.

– On global scale, e-commerce sales are growing more than 19%

The worldwide retail sales are more than $1 trillion worth, and with every year it’s developing by 19.4%. E-commerce is simply starting to eliminate traditional ways of purchase. Doing online shopping is getting more and more convenient, and now the product is delivered right to your door. Consequently, traditional retailers need to think about e-commerce, as business doesn’t stay on the same point, and they need to consider all modern tendencies. Otherwise, they are likely to harm their sales and ROR.

Has it ever happened to you, when you were trying to push your sale however it ended up with nothing but wasted money? Do you want to know how to avoid it? So, then let us continue regarding the topic.

1. Screen Shifting

According to Forbes, as the number of screens we use each day is increased , for instant, we watch TV on a big LCD, concurrently writing a tweet on computer and replying to our friends on facebook using a phone, so will marketers adapt their advertising for each screen.

2. Streamlined Shopping

In 2015, people will make purchases on their phones, and retail locations will start to use POS systems (http://www.shopify.com/pos/touch-screen).  Marketers will be endeavoring to change the epoch of cash registers.

3. Interlinking Copywriting & Coding

In 2015 having good writing skills will be a key factor of success. The best writers will need to get a handle on interaction design and responsive content development to create messaging that resonates across different platforms and screen dimensions.

4. Mobile Marketing Attribution

Marketers will start to realize that they can get more credit and attribution form an advertisement that is clicked via mobile devices( tablets, smartphones, etc).

e-commerce mobile 2015

5. Multi-Dimensional Sharing Networks

In 2015 people are likely to reduce the usage of social networks that limit them in sharing certain types of files. For instant, twitter may become less popular as it is not that multi-functional as google+, where you can make group meetings, post different images, documents and ideas.  Consequently, social networks will get more competitive in creating integrated and comprehensive format to attract its users.

6. Corporations Getting Personal

In order to gain your credit more, marketers will come to use home-advertising videos, as if they were your neighbors, and you know them that well. Copy will seem to be less professional and simple. Generally speaking, simplicity will be regarded as one the principal aspects of marketing strategies.

7. The Golden Age of Storytelling

Anyone who has a talent for storytelling in diverse or emerging formats, whether it’s through comics, street art or filming, its role will be highly valued and appreciated in the marketing field.

e-commerce 2015

Advices

In this part of the article, we will tell you how to take advantage of the core e-commerce trends in 2015.

Mobile e-commerce

Talking about mobile e-commerce, you should take care of secure and user-friendly mobile payments. Provide your site with POS systems and different online payment choices and try to simplify checkout as much as possible. The second important thing is the optimization for mobile devices. Keep in mind, that smartphones have restricted amount of screen space. With mobile-centric website layouts you will get the advantage of faster loading time. You should also remember about hybrid shopping experience: work on offline part of your business and its integration with online.

Provide your mobile users with key information that they will be interested, and with the ability to purchase from your site as easy as possible. To remove the possibility of accidental taps, you should use 45+ pixels buttons. Try to avoid Flash, because Apple products don’t support it, but they occupy a significant market share. Reduce text entry to the lowest possible amount. In order to do this use checklists and pre-populated fields.  Get rid of unimportant text by showing information in icons. Use redirects to detect when visitors are using smartphones or tablets. As a result you will be able to send them to the mobile-optimized version of the site.

Wearables

To take advantage of wearables trend, you can provide your customers with location-centric deals, time-sensitive offers and holiday-centric promotions in real-time. Keep in mind, that your online store is always open. With wearables, your customers will be constantly connected to the internet with the ability to purchase your goods and the need of your customer services. Get ready for the release of Apple Watch and be among the first companies with the support of new technology. You should also take care of  smart-watches on Android Wear, Tizen and other platforms.

Shipping

By offering free shipping for orders with minimum shipping threshold, you make your customers more loyal. They are more likely to take advantage of waived shipping fees than receiving a bigger discount, so don’t forget to highlight your free shipping offer. Pay your attention to same-day delivery in case your inventory is able to handle it. Start with limited locations only – don’t try to overcome yourself. It is also necessary to provide your site with user friendly inventory information. Use a flat rate for return shipping and extra distance. Keep in mind, that hassle-free shopping experience is always a plus.

Social media and e-commerce

Social media channels always were reliable communication tools. Keep in mind, that you should always reply on both positive and negative comments. Thank your customers for their time and try to resolve their issues. Don’t hesitate to use first name of a person you are responding to. Use social networking services to share high-quality interesting content: different advices about your goods and services; benchmark reports and updates; webinars; relevant articles, etc. Following your customers online also make them loyal.

Use different digital content: text, images or videos. Don’t be afraid to experiment with mixing different content in one post. A little emoticon is also a plus. Use questions that engage your users in sharing and liking your content.

Personalized marketing

Email messaging is very important for a successful e-commerce project. Keep in mind, that personalized email messages boast 25% higher open rates. To personalize your marketing campaign, you can rely on customer’s lists of Facebook likes, Pinterest board activities or Amazon purchase history. The necessary information is almost always accessible. Use different messaging styles for the emails with same content. You can create segments based on gender, location or product preference. Don’t forget to optimize your emails for mobile users.

E-Commerce SEO Trends For 2015

There are a lot of different opinions and predictions about key e-commerce SEO trends for 2015. Some experts talk about significant changes, while the others think that key algorithms of search engines will be the same, so nothing new will happen to the optimization process. Next, we gathered all possible points of view from different reliable sources, so get ready for the complete overview of e-commerce SEO trends for 2015.

search engine optimization

Inevitable changes

Econsultancy.com has an optimistic prediction for SEO trends of 2015. Different experts talk about great changes for the current year. Most of them are sure, that SEO will never be the same. Let’s see the key opinions.

The power of bloggers

Blogging community plays a significant role in digital marketing. Blogs of influential people are an effective tool of making potential customers speak about a brand or a product. They also help with earning links necessary for a better SEO. Now we have a situation, when a blogger is paid to write a positive review and asked not to declare that the content is an advert rather than an ordinary article. Of course, this is unfair, and even Interflora was kicked out of search results after paying for such reviews, but the trend is still a part of all SEO tricks for 2015. Our advice is simple: try to avoid such violations.

Mobile SEO

Unfortunately, big brands still don’t have effective SEO optimized mobile solutions. M-commerce (mobile commerce) is a leading part of e-commerce, and 2015 will be the year when mobile search will have all chances to overtake desktop search. Google’smobile-friendly test’ and tagging of mobile-friendly sites within organic SERPs are substantial evidences of this trend. We recommend you to keep yourself up-to-date and get a 100% responsive website.

Good multimedia content is a plus

Keep in mind, that good multimedia content is a plus. Creative and optimized images and videos, relevance and quality of the content and its uniqueness are always responsible for positive impact on visitors behaviour. As machine image recognition is constantly growing, the aforementioned factors have all chances to get a more important role in search engine optimization during this year.

Take care of other search engines

Since last year, the default search engine of Firefox is Yahoo, so the market share of this provider is constantly growing. There is also an uncertain situation with SafariGoogle’s search provider deal with Apple is expiring. Perhaps, 2015 will be the year when marketers will be forced to optimize their sites not only for Google’s requirements.

Speed and agility

Speed and agility always were important aspects of search engine optimization. First of all, we speak about overall productivity of the website. The second interpretation of this two terms concerns a relevance and novelty of a published content. Both always were very important and 2015 won’t be an exception.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird is going to change SEO forever. It allows Google to understand such words as ‘how’ ‘where’, ‘why’, ‘when’ and user intent better. As a result, the search engine can work with more complex queries and receives more advanced abilities in handling voice activated search queries so popular in a mobile segment. Taking this into account, we recommend you to focus on excellent content, which is accessible across devices and optimised for long tail semantically-related keywords. Right keywords are no longer a key to the successful SEO.

Brand citations and special tools

Brand citations play a constantly growing role in rankings. To understand the value of this factor, you should use different social monitoring tools. They will help you to identify all brand citations and provide different statistics: demographics, geographies and personas. You will be able to utilise this information for planning a new strategy.

Undeniable stability

Unlike specialists from Econsultancy.com, expers of Prestashop believe, that SEO will be almost the same in 2015. Google is always talking about updates and new algorithms, but SEO is almost constant with a few minor changes every year. Since 1998, Google always relies on relevance and popularity. With the monopoly over the market, this strategy works great, so there are no reasons why Google would change its algorithm.

2015 is a mobile year

Smartphones and tablets are already the dominant channel of traffic in certain markets. In India, mobile devices produce 70% of total traffic. The mobile boom is underway, so Google tries to satisfy users by providing new rules. Top online retailers already have responsive sites and better rankings. Think of mobile-friendly sites tagging within organic SERPs mentioned above. In order to become mobile-friendly, your site should pass the Google Webmaster Mobile-Friendly Test. You can use a responsive template or a dedicated mobile site (http://m.site.com).

HTTP or HTTPS?

 Switch over to HTTPS from HTTP was added as a ranking signal in Google’s search algorithm. Of course, this change will never get your site on the top of Google results, but keep in mind, that every little bit helps, so you should switch your e-commerce store to HTTPS in 2015.

The basics

To be on top positions in 2015, you will still need a high quality content and the best links. Don’t forget about keywords – they are still important. You should also think about content marketing strategy. To maximize SERP CTR and conversion, titles and descriptions used for both product and category pages should be properly formulated. You also need high quality links. Google has reported websites selling links in Webmaster Guidelines violations, so don’t work with offenders. It is also necessary to refrain from unprofessional link building. Use links that direct to different parts of your site. Stop exchanging links with other sites. Try to avoid using keyword-rich anchor texts. Don’t pay for links – create a top quality content and you will get them.

Middle way

VentureBeat also has its opinion about SEO trends for 2015. Here it is.

Links again

A link profile is a key component in the overall formula responsible for good ranking. Clear your site from toxic links and rely on Google’s guidelines for building new. Penguin penalties are among the primary reasons for being kicked from the first page. At the same time, the new Penguin can also re-rank sites, so if they were previously penalized, sites have a chance to avoid any further punishment.

The almighty content

Original and well-produced content also leads your site to the first places among other search results. In 2015, this aspect will be even more important than before. Quality, novelty and originality are three major characteristics for successful content.

Smartphones boom

Google alerts visitors about results which aren’t mobile-friendly. Moreover, mobile compatibility affects ranking. Too small fonts and inconvenient touch elements can lower site’s position among other results. The mobile trend isn’t just SEO related. Traffic from smartphones and tablets is constantly growing, so don’t loose a huge audience in 2015 – make your website responsive and mobile-friendly.

The impact of social networks

Some websites can be turned into social networks.  As a result, users will be able to communicate with each other and with the personnel of the site. The pioneers of this trend already exist, but during 2015 we will see a lot of new experimentators. Chances are this “socialisation” will dramatically change the e-commerce and current standards.

Visual content

You can’t deny the importance of infographics and videos for modern websites. Visual content is often used instead of boring text. There are even successful sites based primarily on GIFs, which are forerunners of this new trend. There’s a room to believe that Google and other search providers will penalize sites with plain text or will reward sites with quality visual content by providing them with higher ranking.

The war against a negative SEO

Negative SEO poses a threat to millions of websites. To de-rank someone’s site, a competitor can invest a few bucks into automated black-hat links to that site. The results of such actions are obvious. In 2015, businesses will work harder to solve this problem and defend themselves against a negative SEO, proving to Google that a negative SEO is the work of their competitors.

The most realistic prediction

Inc.com doesn’t tell anything new, but it provieds the most realistic prediction. Let’s see 8 key SEO trends of 2015 by Inc.com.

1 Links

A relevant citation from an authoritative source has a positive impact not only on SEO, but also on brand awareness, audience growth, online sales, etc. Search engines consider inbound links as the primary off-site indicator of authority and value of the site. Create a high quality content and promote it to specific audiences to get relevant citations.

2 Mobile commerce

We’ve already said a lot about the leading role of mobile devices in e-commerce SEO trends of 2015. The ability to deliver high-quality mobile content for consumers quickly and effectively will provide a competitive advantage. The use of mobile Internet rapidly surpasses the use of desktop Internet over the globe, so fundamental changes in the work of search engines are obvious.

3 Multiple platforms

In 2015, businesses should optimize their brands for search across multiple different platforms. Amazon and other online marketplaces, Yelp and similar services, Wikipedia and different mobile applications are also important in attraction of a new audience. Keep in mind, that all of these platforms have their unique requirements.

4 Leadership and social engagement

Leadership and social engagement always go hand-in-hand. Many brands position themselves as experts among their respective communities, and 2015 will be no exception.

5 Long-tail search traffic

2015 will also become a year of long-tail queries. Mobile devices support voice search, search engines understand long-tail intent much better, and substantial part of daily keyword queries is absolutely unique. In this situation, brands able to wield the power of long-tail queries will receive some significant advantages in 2015.

6 A new way of interacting with search results

Google gradually transforms from an information engine into a knowledge engine. Such features as Knowledge Graph and Carousel are the implementations of this process. In their turn, consumers get new ways of viewing and interacting with search results. In 2015, businesses must be aware of how their content appears in the aforementioned services and overall search space.

7 A lower importance of keywords

In 2015, keywords will be less important for SEO. First of all, search optimization will rely on brand visibility across different properties to a greater extent. In addition, expanding of brand presence across the internet will be among key factors of the optimization.

8 Personalization

The same queries may lead to different results, which depend on location and demographic data from previous engagements of users. If this is a trend for 2015, the brands that are able to provide a highly personalized content across different platforms will surpass their competitors.

The Top 7 SEO trends by Forbes

Last but not least are SEO trends by Forbes.

1 Focus on content and technical elements

In 2015, SEO will be focused on technical components of online marketing. In its turn, a high quality content will be the key driver of rankings. SEO will deal with keywords, indexing issues and meta tags, while content marketing will play a primary role in search visibility.

2 Mobile SEO

In 2014, Google did a lot to increase the importance of mobile devices and to make user experience on mobile as good as possible. Now it penalizes sites with errors for mobile users and optimizes searches based on mobile habits. The importance of voice search, dependence on time and location, and “on the go” tasks will change SEO significantly in 2015.

3 Implied links

URLs that lead back to a webpage and brand mentions without linking to the site will have the same power. Due to the widespread negative SEO, Google is going to place more emphasis on implied links, which include brand mentions and citations.

4 Twitter and Facebook

Google Authorship wasn’t as useful as it supposed to be. The project is closed, and Google will likely put more emphasis on signals from FB and Twitter in 2015. Despite, Google denies that signals from social networks are a part of its ranking algorithm, many experts believe, that they already play a role in the ranking algorithm.

5 A new role of search rankings

In 2015, the race for high rankings will motivate businesses to shift towards relational strategies. Blogger outreach campaigns, relationships with brand advocates, and wide presence on social media will have stronger impact on search rankings than technical compliance.

6 Negative SEO

Large sites in competitive niches are always under the threat of Negative SEO. Chances are, that this problem will be taken more seriously by Google in 2015. Instead of using webmasters to disavow spammy links, Google should find new ways of recognizing manipulative links and penalize the real violators.

7. Integration with other aspects of marketing

SEO is already tightly connected with content marketing and social media. The free often have the same goals, so they need to be fully integrated with each other in order to succeed.